Our feet are planted in the real world but we dance with angels…John C Mitchell
Feet. They’re those floppy bits on the end of your legs. They support everything that you do while you are upright from standing to walking and dancing. They connect us to the ground, take the full weight of our bodies. We bash them, push them, drag them along the ground, and often don’t really give them a lot of thought if they’re not hurting.
But how much do they really do?
Fun Feet Facts
- There are 19 muscles in each foot and some of the muscles start at the back of the knee.
- A quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.
- With over 8,000 nerves in your feet, they’re the most ticklish part of your body.
- Moreton’s toe is the condition where your second toe is longer than your big toe.
- They work best when they are free of shoes and socks.
- Over the course of a day, your feet take a cumulative force of a couple hundred tons.
A couple of hundred tons! Feet are a part of our natural shock absorption system for when you jump, step or run.
How does this fit into belly dancing?
In belly dance, our feet just aren’t how we get around the room!
They create a beautiful end to our leg lines. Your feet are the base of your turns and they help create grace in your steps as you move around.
While, belly dancers don’t use the “en pointe” position of ballet dancers, we still have a lot of commonality. The Australian Ballet did this fantastic video for how much use their feet get.
Relaxing your feet
Studies have shown that if you relax your feet, you’ll feel more relaxed throughout the rest of your body. So, what can we do to relax our feet?
- Stretch out your legs and feet. Start by pointing your toes, then pull the toes back towards your head. Go slowly moving back and forth before rolling out your ankles and then stretching your legs.
- Roll a ball. Use a tennis ball or a spikey ball to massage the muscles in the sole of your foot. Try to not apply too much pressure to your feet while you do this. With all the nerves in your feet, you’ll likely get pain rather than relaxing sensations.
- Get or give yourself a foot massage.
- Relax in a warm bath with Epsom salts.
In every APB Dance class we spend some time making sure our feet are ready to take on everything we need them to. Check out a class to see what we can do to help your feet.